JEB Stuart IV addresses CSA descendants

April 30, 2001

JEB Stuart IV addresses CSA descendants


FUNKSTOWN - Just as with many families, the Civil War divided J.E.B. Stuart's family.

The man who would become a Confederate general named his son after his father-in-law, Philip Saint George Cooke.

When Cooke chose to support the North during the war, Stuart changed his son's name to James Ewell Brown Stuart Jr.

That story was one of several passed along Saturday by J.E.B. Stuart IV, who spoke of his great grandfather to about 75 people at the Funkstown Moose Lodge. The lodge hosted the state convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Stuart IV, 65, of Richmond, said his great grandfather was often described as theatrical. He could also be described as a man who loved the military, had a deep faith in God, loved his children, and had a beautiful singing voice and a good sense of humor, according to Stuart's stories.


The general's humor probably provided a respite for himself and his men during the war, Stuart said.

His humor is evident in a letter he wrote to his cousin, dated Christmas 1851, describing the horsemanship training cadets are undergoing at West Point. Stuart IV read the letter to his audience.

" 'It is great fun for us from the South, but you ought to see what ridiculous figures those Yankees cut on horseback. Some of them never mounted a horse before,' " Stuart IV read.

Stuart fought at the Battle of Funkstown as his men were retreating after the Battle of Gettysburg, said Joseph F. Bach, commander of the Col. William Norris Camp 1398 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Maj. Gen. Stuart died at age 31 after being mistakenly shot by his own men at Yellow Tavern near Richmond in May 1864.

Stuart IV said he believes his great grandfather was so effective at a young age because of the influence of his family and friends, his experiences at West Point and his experience in Kansas and the Kansas territories for six years before the Civil War.

Stuart was at West Point from 1850-54, during which time he earned demerits for "his propensity never to back away from challenge," Stuart IV said.

His behavior was such that the academy superintendent, Robert E. Lee, wrote Stuart's parents hoping they would discourage his need to settle matters with his fists, Stuart IV said.

Despite the strenuous training, Stuart wrote that he was having a "glorious time," Stuart IV said.

Stuart IV said he thinks his great grandfather enjoyed the rigors of academy training because he was a country boy used to strenuous exercise.

The modern Stuart, a colonel who served two tours in the Vietnam War, said he believes his great grandfather's true legacy - his contribution to mobile warfare - was overlooked.

"He knew how to organize and lead men into combat," Stuart IV said, and his ability to assess the situation and react was second to none.

The Herald-Mail Articles